YUUbag entrepreneurs turn to crowdfunding for launch of new tech-play venture YUUgo

Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes of YUUworld, based in Great Dunmow.

Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes of YUUworld, based in Great Dunmow. - Credit: Archant

Two entrepreneurs from north essex have turned to crowdfunding to secure backing for their latest new venture.

Kellie Forbes and Gill Hayward with some of their YUUbag designs.

Kellie Forbes and Gill Hayward with some of their YUUbag designs. - Credit: Archant

Friends Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes, from Great Dunmow, launched the YUUbag, a backpack which doubles up as a portable entertainment station for young children, in 2009 and in 2012 secured backing from Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden following a highly successful pitch on Dragons’ Den which attracted the interest of all five panel members.

In the run-up to last Christmas they were achieving sales at the rate of one every 12 minutes and they are now aiming to build on this success with the launch of a new product, the YUUgo, which includes and element of tech-based play.

It features built-in GPS and Wifi, enabling children to log their journeys and distanced travelled, on foot, by bike or by car, using a YUUgo app, and a fold-down desk, as well as a host of compartments (including a “secret” one) and a pack of games and stationery.

The app will also offer educational challenges for children and a tracking function for parents so that they always know where their child’s backpack is.

Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes with Dragons' Den investors Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones.

Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes with Dragons' Den investors Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones. - Credit: Archant


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Gill Hayward said: “We believe it’s important for children to understand tech in the 21st Century but we also believe it’s important that tech play is balanced with active play.

“With YUUgo we set out to put the ‘fun’ into ‘functional’ and inspire children to want to get out and about and have fun tracking and learning about their adventures with the technology interface.”

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To launch the YUUgo, they have teamed up with Gotek7 which has more than 20 years’ experience in the tech industry. They aim to bring the product to market through a crowdfunding campaign with Indiegogo which launched at the start of this week and aims to raise 50,000 US dollars to fund an initial round of orders in time for Christmas 2017.

Kellie Forbes said: “We have received overwhelming public support for our YUUbag since we launched six years ago, so it feels completely natural that we are now turning to the public to help support our launch of YUUgo through crowdfunding.

“Research to date has been incredibly positive with many parents ringfencing this as the perfect Christmas present guaranteed to keep their child entertained for many years to come. We sold a YUUbag every 12 minutes last Christmas and we’re looking to top that this year with the launch of YUUgo.”

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